Sunday, July 16, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 46: Places of worship

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Helsinki
Sent 28 December 2016, Traveled 5,757 km

I had my first ever hail storm experience on my way to this cathedral back in April. My friend Tuija who sent me this postcard and who was with on that same day of the hail storm, wrote: This stunningly beautiful church is Helsinki Cathedral and most probably the most beautiful in Finland. I was only able to look at it in awe both outside and inside!


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Bulacan, Metro Manila
Sent 21 June 2012, Traveled 35 km

This is probably one of my postcards that took the shortest distance to reach me (see caption). It's a Postcrossing Meet-up Postcard featuring the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours. It is considered the largest church in the Philippines and in Asia.


Postcard sent for swap

In my opinion, this is the best building in Kampong Glam, a historic Malay area in Singapore. I always love sitting at a cafe at night and just marveling at the beauty of this mosque. The website YourSingapore describes this mosque as the focal point of Islamic faith in the country.


Postcard sent for swap

Will you believe that this Hindu temple is located in Chinatown? It is indeed! Sri Mariamman is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. The number of sculptures & figurines at its entrance is just awe-inspiring. More so, is the social role this temple plays in the life of South Indian Tamil Hindus. I read that this temple provides them shelter until they find work and a more permanent accommodation in Singapore.



Postcard sent to self, Sent from Ho Chi Minh
Sent 23 Oct 2016, Traveled 2,679 km

This card is from my solo weekend trip to Ho Chi Minh last year. It was such a traumatic trip though and I vowed that I will never go back to Vietnam on my own again. I am sad to give this bad impression of Ho Chi Minh but my experience was pretty terrible. Oddly enough, I'm writing this blog post while here in Vietnam at the moment. Only at a different city though, Hanoi.

I'm sorry for disappointing my blogging friends for my tortoise-ness with the linky. It's been really insane at work. I've just finished organizing and hosting a regional distributors sales meeting. I went back to Singapore for one night and back on the road again today. I'm away for another 2 more weeks for this series of business trips. I hope the rest of you are able to enjoy less demanding days.

~maria 


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 45: City views (night time)

For the night time city views theme, I'm sharing cities in Asia. 

Postcard sent to self, Sent from Taipei, Taiwan
Traveled 3,248 km

The Taipei 101 skyscraper clearly towers above any other building in the city on this scenery. The temperature of the print on the translucent material on this screen postcard offers a somewhat close to reality view of the city of Taipei. This first postcard is the fanciest I own to date. 

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent by Renz & Raqz
Sent 14 July 2013, Traveled 2,994 km in 5 days

This is Ginza Street in Tokyo at night. The entire street with its neon lights was just magnificent and breathtaking when I saw it for real back in November 2016. 

Postcard sent for swap

Singapore Chinatown is recognized as one of the cleanest Chinatown all over the world. Seen here in the foreground is the Tooth Buddha Relic Temple and behind are the tall buildings in the cental building district of the city.

Postcard sent for swap

Behind those buildings on the Singapore Chinatown is the iconic Singapore Merlion. It's always very nice to visit Merlion Park in the evening as the area is full of lights.


Postcard sent for swap

And for this fifth postcard, here's one from Metro Manila -- a city where I lived for 11 years before moving to Singapore. This is a skyline of Makati, the central business district area. I worked for 5 years on the 29th floor of the leftmost building called RCBC Plaza. 


I'm sorry everyone for the late posting this weekend. I'm organizing a regional sales meeting at work, happening this Tuesday to Thursday (wish me luck!)

Happy weekend folks,
~maria




Friday, June 30, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 44: City views (day time)

For this weekend's theme, I'm featuring city views at day time from Europe:


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Helsinki
Sent 28 Dec 2016, Traveled 9,259 km

The old buildings in Helsinki City Centre gave me peace and calm. I truly wish I had more than just a 2-day weekend to discover this European capital city. If I'm not mistaken, the tall building in the background is St. John's Church. It stands out tall compared to the rest as it's resting on a hill.


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from The Hague
Traveled 10,530 km

Some of you may know that I have a Dutch mom (my biological mother is Filipino but I have a second mom). She sent me this postcard from the city where she works. I will visit Amsterdam this August and I'm figuring out if it's worth it to visit The Hague as well. I like this postcard for showing a contrast of old and new buildings.


Friendship Gift Postcard from Madrid
Traveled 11,374 km

Madrid ranks high on my list of cities I want to explore in depth in Europe. Here's Metropolis Building, an architectural wonder at the corner of Calle Alcala and Gran Via. The building features 4 statues representing Mining, Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce. Its round tower is covered by 30,000 leaves of 24-k gold.


Direct Swap, Sender: Anna
Traveled 10,059 km

Of all these five postcards, this is my favorite. I reckon this picture is taken close to the golden hour. I probably wouldn't have known about Ljubljana if not for this postcard. I don't know how to pronounce this city's name either so I need to ask Google for help. 


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: Dr. Arnold
Sent 12 March 2017, Traveled 10,252 km

This postcard steals my attention from that of Ljubljana. The buildings are way so much taller at one part of this city. Excellent vantage point for this postcard!


~ maria

You spoke, and I listened :D Starting this weekend, the time span of the linky is extended to 12 hours more, to accommodate different time zones.




Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Hari Raya Aidilfitri


We're enjoying a 3-day long weekend here at the moment to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri. The stamp was issued on 29 February 2008. 

Apart from the much awaited long weekend to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the entire month of Ramadan is a source of inspiration for me. For the past 3 years of witnessing the tradition here in Singapore (partly in Malaysia as well), the dedication and discipline of my Muslim friends during the hours of fasting made me revisit my own spirituality at the same time. The sense of community and atmosphere of festivity specially during sahur and iftar, made me yearn for my immediate family back in the Philippines but at the same time, blessed me with friendship and deeper understanding of the Muslim faith -- specially on those occasions that I was invited to dinner, which more often than not, was coupled with intelligent conversations.

For expositions/fairs/events @ Sunday Stamps.

~maria

Friday, June 23, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 43: Iconic person

UK Trip Spring Trip 2012 Souvenir Postcard

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, needless to say, she's such an icon of all monarch figures. It's sad that the postcard is damaged on top of her right eye ...


A lone postcard post this evening, folks. I'm too tired both from work and domestic series of unfortunate events. I published an entry 20 mins ago, only to realized that the city view (day time) theme is for next weekend! Glad I noticed before I go to bed!

~maria



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 42: Historic sites / buildings

Souvenir postcard, Spring 2017 trip to Malta

I didn't know anything about European Capital of Culture until I visited Malta 2 months ago. It was quite well advertised around Valletta, Malta's capital. In fact, I first saw the information on this postcard! My partner, being European himself, explained to me that every year, European Union has a different city, designated as the main venue to highlight European culture. This aims to boost focus and attention into European culture, as much as there's always big discussions about politics and economics. 


Souvenir postcard, Spring 2017 trip to Malta

Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the city of the Knights of St. John and has been described as "a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen". It's built to a grid pattern on a narrow peninsula, offering wonderful urban views and historical sites at almost every corner. Among its major attractions are the Church of St. John, the Manoel Theatre, and the Grand Master's Palace.

For historic sites / buildings,
~maria





Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Gardens or Forests


Left to right --

50th Anniversary of the Jardim Botanico Madeira
Issued in 2010 (Portugal)

Eero J√§rnefelt 150 Years Commemorative Stamp, Forest Landscape 
Issued in 2013 (Finland)

Nuuksio National Park
Issued in 2013 (Finland)



Singapore, my second home is a garden city. One of the most admirable features of this garden city is the lush greeneries lining the roadsides. Left to right --

Saga, Adenanthera pavonina
Issued in 2010 (Singapore)

Angsana, Pterocarpus indicus
Issued in 2010 (Singapore)

Rain tree, Samanea saman
Issued in 2010 (Singapore)

For Sunday Stamps: gardens or forests

~maria

Friday, June 9, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 41: Flags, with a flag(s)

FI-1422572, Sent from Vihti, Finland
Sent: 10 May 2012, Traveled 8,964 km in 25 days

Finland is the latest addition to the list of countries I've visited so far. I went there during the third weekend of April to meet my pen friend from Kuopio. It was a lovely meeting and I learned that Finland is celebrating its 100 Years of Independence this year. This card arrived with a matching stamp for the flag on the postcard. 

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Boras, Sweden
Sent: 5 March 2017, Traveled 9,926 km

The trip to Finland was a side trip that I made as a part of my business trip to Gothenburg, Sweden. Less than a month prior to my trip, I received this card from Monica of Beyond the Lone Islands. Thanks to Monica's message at the back, I was able to properly select the clothes needed for the cold & wet northern European weather. It was so much colder in Gothenburg as compared to the April weather I remember from my first visit in 2015. And oh, my side visit to Helsinki gave me my first ever hail storm and wet snow fall experience! I finally saw snow! Some of you might remember that I was ranting about it in one of my posts after missing it from my Japan trip back in November 2016.

Thanks to these two cards, I learned that all Nordic countries except Greenland have adopted the Nordic Cross flag

Postcrossing Private Swap, Sent from Victoria, Australia, 
Sent on 13 September 2011, Traveled 6,185 km in 9 days

This postcard has appeared here in my blog 5 years ago. I noticed it in my scanned postcards folder while looking for postcards for our theme and decided to narrow down my search to flags with cross/crosses on it. There's a long article in wiki about this flag and it's quite an interesting read for those who are interested in their national and political history. 


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Oxfordshire, UK
Sent: 13 Nov 2013, Traveled 10,777 km

As I'm sure most or all of us know, the Union Jack emblem exist on the National Flag of Australia, the country being a member of the Commonwealth. On the London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom card above, we have the widespread Union Jack, the flag of UK as a bright and beautiful backdrop. The Union Jack is a union of three historical crosses: Saint Andrew's, Saint Patrick's, and Saint George's.

The similarities of the Nordic country flags to that of the Union Jack has made me very curious. My research has landed me into a well-written article in Quora. Apparently, the Nordic cross gave rise to the flags of the British Isles, among which are the historical crosses that currently comprise the Union Jack. 

I learned so much while researching about the postcards I've chosen for the theme this weekend! Yay!

~maria






Friday, June 2, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 40: Country map(s)

My interest with Ireland started when I saw a very entertaining animated film with a leprechaun when I was a little girl. I always thought Ireland is Ireland ...

IE-33070, sent from Dublin, Ireland
Sent 13 March 2012, Traveled 10,959 km in 13 days

... But when I traveled to Scotland back in 2012, I learned that Ireland has two parts: one being the Republic of Ireland, and another being North Ireland, part of United Kingdom.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Oxfordshire, UK
Sent: 13 Nov 2013, Traveled 10,777 km


That was my very first out of Asian continent trip. I visited a relative in Edinburgh after attending a conference in Glasgow and he asked me whether I plan to see Ireland as well. I was very surprised as I thought, "How can I go there when I only have UK visa and no Schengen visa." Then, I was educated on the two Irelands ... Ah, the things I couldn't have learned if not for actually making a trip to somewhere!

What are some of the memorable unexpected learnings from your travel(s) abroad?

Happy weekend,
~maria



Friday, May 26, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 39: Traditional street scene


Speaking of traditional street scenes, I think nothing can be more traditional than this postcard of "bayanihan". Strictly speaking, it isn't a street, but since in the province where I grew up, cleared up pathways throughout grasslands were what we considered streets for passage of people and carriages pulled by either water buffalo, horse, or cow. Since traditional Filipino houses were built on stilts during earlier days, it's quite common to see men from the community gathering and helping a house owner who wants to move the property. These men weren't paid a cent but they're served a sumptuous meal and local alcoholic beverages after the heavy task.


A horse-pulled carriage or kalesa. Nowadays, this kind of transportation is more of a touristy thing in many historical places of interest in the Philippines. This is one of the earlier forms of transportation, I reckon not just in my country but in many other countries as well.


Now onto more modern street scene, on the above postcard is our version in the Philippines of a tricycle or trishaw. This transportation is normally overloaded with passengers as there isn't a lot of tricycles to transport people from villages to the town. This overloading happens mostly during when there are festivities in the town center.

For traditional street scenes. Happy weekend everyone!

~maria







Saturday, May 20, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 38: Traditional festival

Direct Swap, Sender: Meylinda from Hong Kong
Sent: 19 Sep 2012, Traveled 1,129 km

Although I don't totally agree with seeing these children in what seems to be heavy facial make-up, it appears that it is part of the over-all traditional costume. The back of this card reads:


Cheung Chau Island Bun Festival. The children in the procession are the stars of the Bun Festival. Aged between five and eight, they are supported on frames and carried shoulder-high throughout the whole parade to create an elaborate, often whimsical tableau, often representing characters in history or mythology. 

 This festival is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month in Chinese Calendar. It usually coincides with Buddha's birthday (April/May). 


BY-691110, Sent by Marina from Minsk, Belarus
Sent: 1 Dec 2012, Traveled 8,926 km in 61 days

Despite my increasingly overwhelming tasks at work and frequent business trips, one of the reasons why I keep on writing about my postcards collection is the mix of emotions I get whenever I review my postcards album. Just like with this postcard, it's kind of hard to believe that it took 2 months to reach me! Wow! Having moved to Singapore, the postcards I receive normally traveled only for a week or two. I don't understand why most of my received postcards, while I was still in the Philippines, seem like they traveled forever to reach me when my home is less than 30 minutes by car from the post office ... well, okay, fair enough, perhaps the postman is always stuck in heavy traffic!


Moving on, this postcard shows the celebration of the Day of Belarusian Written Language in Kamenets. I didn't have the chance to find out on what year this took place. For this year, this festival will take place in Polotsk. Belarus is celebrating 500th Anniversary of the Belarusian Book Printing this year, 2017. More information on this festival can be found here: http://www.belarus.by/en/about-belarus/culture/den_bel_pism_en

SI-52097, Sender: Emil from eastern Slovenia
Sent: 20 Jan 2012, Traveled 9,938 km in 14 days

I'm quite pleased with the assortment of postcards I found for the theme this weekend: featuring children, to grown-ups, to animated creatures. This third and last postcard shows the Ptuj carnival called Kurentovanje. This carnival is celebrated to preserve the tradition for the ancient rite of spring. It usually lasts for a period of eleven days and consists of music and dancing, with the Kurent groups in masks with feathers and horns. I found this excellent page about the carnival, containing a detailed explanation about the masks and the costumes: http://www.slovenia.si/culture/tradition/kurents/


This theme educated me about traditional festivals that I'm sure I wouldn't have known at all if not for these postcards. Have a nice weekend everyone although it's a nay for me as I'm working both on Saturday & Sunday.

~maria


Friday, May 12, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 37: Traditional costumes

Private Swap, Sent from Tabua, Portal
Sent 6 July 2013, Traveled 11,948 km in 20 days

I did a little research about Portuguese traditional costume for women and found out that although it typically varies by region, normally it consists of bouffant long skirt for women. The skirt is called saia and is of vibrant checkered or striped pattern. Well I shouldn't be surprised myself, hailing from a country that was a Spanish colony for 300+ years! The same item of clothing is called saya, in my lingua franca.

Direct Swap, sent from Lithuania
Sent 2 Feb 2012, Traveled 9,116 km

Diana, the sender wrote that this young lady is wearing a traditional Lithuanian costume and is seen here making a bird from yarn.

These two cards are for this weekend's theme -- traditional costumes. To discover more traditional costumes featured in postcards, check out what other participants below have shared on their respective pages.

Happy weekend,
~maria



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Places of Worship


Left stamp - Cathedral of Gniezno

The stamp was issued on 1 March 2002. It is also showing the coffin with relics of St. Adalberg. 

The Cathedral of Gniezno, according to wikipedia, served as the coronation place for several Polish monarchs and the seat of Polish church officials continuously for nearly 1000 years.

Right stamp - Fortified Church of Biertan

The stamp was issued on 11 September 2011. The Fortified Church of Biertan was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 under the category: villages with fortified churches in Transylvania.

For more places of worship stamps, visit See it on a Postcard.

~maria


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 36: Traditional craft work

BY-1050236, sent from Belarus
Sent 11 Oct 2013, Traveled 9,224 km in 25 days
I had to do a research to learn more about this postcard. It's awesome to find information on another blog about postcards: Remembering Letters and Postcards -- spinning flax on a drop spindle. I would love to see this way of doing textile done in person! 

Postcard from my Malta holiday

It has been a habit for me to take back souvenir(s) for my parents whenever I travel. I was literally smitten with a handmade tablecloth with lace and embroidery. Oh man! It was heavy. We bought it earlier during the day and we had to take it with us for the rest of our sightseeing. No regrets though as I'm sure my parents will be pleased when they see it with the matching napkins.


I'm so excited to see the other postcards that feature traditional craft work this weekend. Enjoy visiting each and everyone in the linky party!

Happy weekend,
~maria




Saturday, April 29, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 35: Any waterform

Postcard sent out for swaps

Back in Feb 2014, I visited the beautiful island and islets of Coron, Palawan. I didn't make it to Big Lagoon though and has always wanted to go back to this part of the province. It gives me something to look forward into for the next trip.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: AJ
Sent 21 May 2015, Traveled 14,842 km

AJ, my not so little anymore "boy"friend sent me this card when he traveled with his mom to his dad's hometown. I think he's 5 years old during the trip when he sent me this card and he wrote to me, " I learned to paddle in a canoe. I saw some snow, too!" 

The falls featured on this card is the Upper Falls of the Tahquamenon Falls. I reckon AJ had his canoe adventure near this place.

UA-936361, Sent from Ukraine
Sent 28 Jan 2014, Traveled 8,188 km in 33 days

I'm in Sweden at the moment, a country with 97,500 lakes but what a pity! I haven't had the chance to find a postcard with a lake and I'm leaving very soon. Here's one instead from the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: Ken Carlson
Sent 30 July 2012, Traveled 10,916 km

This is a scene along the coast of California. The wild waves and rugged terrains make this postcard powerful in a way.

For water forms theme this weekend, I hope these cards are enjoyable!

~maria





Friday, April 21, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 34: Any landform

Sent by a friend from Brittany, France
Sent 06 January 2014, Traveled 11.102 km

I marveled at beautiful cliffs during our recent holiday in Malta. Such a pity that I didn't get any postcard to take back for that! Here's one instead from France.

US-1229764, Sent from Utah, USA
Sent 26 July 2011, Traveled 12,346 km in 18 days

Here we have twin cliffs! It's very nice to the eyes to see the alternating bands of red and white layers on this postcard.

Private Swap, Sent from New Zealand,
Sent 31 October 2013, Traveled 8,288 km in 7 days

Lisa, the sender wrote: This is our lovely volcanic plateau of NZ ... It feels like a different world here; it's like stepping back in time to when the dinosaurs were here!

Anyone up for trekking? I'm pretty motivated by the sunny weather on these cards. However the forecast says it will be a rainy weekend in Helsinki. Too bad as the sun is coming out now here in Gothenburg and I thought, I could have just stayed here! But my flights are booked and my Finnish penpal whom I've been writing to since 2009 is waiting for me.

Have a lovely weekend everyone,
~maria


Friday, April 14, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 33: Spring, flower buds & blossoms, green foliage

I'm here in Frankfurt Airport, hoping to publish this post before the announcement of the call for boarding to Malta. My Dutch mom was half-shocked half-surprised as to why I'm going to Malta at this time of the year. She mentioned that the landscape will be dry and brown. I guess it should be an interesting change of scenery for me in contrast with Singapore that's always green

But for my blog at least, I'm pretty pleased to share these postcards for this weekend's theme:


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Finland
Sent 15 June 2014, traveled 9,171 km
Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Finland
Sent 15 June 2014, traveled 9,171 km
FI-1997790, Sent from Finland
Sent 28 Jan 2014, Traveled 8,938 km in 18 days
NL-3558074, Sent from Netherlands,
Sent 3 Sep 2016, Traveled 10,453 km in 14 days

DE-8778042, Sent from Germany
Sent 2 Dec 2016, Traveled 10,347 km in 14 days

I've mentioned on a previous post that nature always offer me peace & serenity. Work has been extremely overwhelming again (it still is and I've managed to make it to my outbound flight!). Stealing time and searching for these postcards while preparing for this weekend's theme simulated for me in a way that feeling of being surrounded by nature. It gives me the chance to get into that space for introspection and reflection during this season of Lent. 

Wishing a Happy Easter in advance and solemn weekend ahead of us,
~maria